No War in Ukraine!
by Judith Mohling
“Nothing is worth risking war, much less nuclear war. No side wants war in Ukraine, and certainly not the people of Ukraine. Someone must find the courage to push back against the momentum toward war, and lead the way toward cooperation and disarmament.” Medea Benjamin, Code Pink
President Biden has just ordered 8,500 US troops to be on heightened alert for possible deployment to Eastern Europe, exacerbating a conflict that could easily result in war between the world’s two most heavily armed nuclear states – the United States and Russia. Code Pink recommends that we must immediately demand that NATO, the U.S.,Russia and Ukraine pursue vigorous diplomacy for a negotiated solution.
It is terrifying to think that there are those in our country and in our world who prefer war to diplomacy, perhaps for capitalist or imperialist reasons, making those reasons more important than the innocent hearts of citizens, their wishes and their safety.
This is all happening within a week of the death of Thich Nhat Hanh, the beloved Buddhist monk who died at age 95 last Saturday, January 22, 2022. Hạnh was a Vietnamese Buddhist monk, peace activist. He responded to President Bush as Bush considered responses after the 9/11 attacks, that, “All violence is injustice. Responding to violence with violence is injustice, not only to the other person but also to oneself,” from “Buddhism and Weapons of Mass Destruction, An Oxymoron?” by Donald K. Swearer.
Amazingly, January 22, was also the one year anniversary of the The Ban Treaty or Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW). On January 22nd, 2021, the United Nations officially adopted the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW) into international law! The Treaty, currently signed by 86 countries, prohibits the development, testing, production, stockpiling, stationing, transfer, use and threat of use of nuclear weapons. While the United States has not yet signed on to the TPNW, the TPNW represents a significant change in international norms around nuclear weapons: they are now officially illegal under international law! Incidentally, the city of Denver has signed on.
The Doomsday clock is an icon of “The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientist,” Founded in 1945 by Albert Einstein and University of Chicago scientists who helped develop the first atomic weapons in the Manhattan Project, the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists created the Doomsday Clock two years later, using the imagery of apocalypse (midnight) and the contemporary idiom of nuclear explosion (countdown to zero) to convey threats to humanity and the planet. The Doomsday Clock is set every year by the Bulletin’s Science and Security Board in consultation with its Board of Sponsors, which includes 11 Nobel laureates. The Clock has become a universally recognized indicator of the world’s vulnerability to catastrophe from nuclear weapons, climate change, and disruptive technologies in other domains. The Clock has just been set at 100 seconds before midnight.
In 2021 the Biden administration changed US policies in some ways that made the world safer: agreeing to an extension of the New START arms control agreement and beginning strategic stability talks with Russia; announcing that the United States would seek to return to the Iran nuclear deal; and rejoining the Paris climate accord.
But, US relations with Russia and China remain tense, with all three countries engaged in an array of nuclear modernization and expansion efforts—including China’s possibly large-scale program to increase its deployment of silo-based long-range nuclear missiles; the push by Russia, China, and the United States to develop hypersonic missiles; and the continued testing of anti-satellite weapons by many nations. If not restrained, these efforts could mark the start of a new nuclear arms race. Other nuclear concerns, including North Korea’s unconstrained nuclear and missile expansion and the (as yet) unsuccessful attempts to revive the Iran nuclear deal contribute to growing dangers. Ukraine remains a potential flashpoint, and Russian troop deployments to the Ukrainian border heighten day-to-day tensions.
And this morning, headlines in The Daily Camera: U.S. troops on high alert.
If we disagree with this momentum, we MUST let it be known.